A Nostalgic Bookshop Visit

Over the bank-holiday I visted both grandmothers at opposite ends of the country, as they have been feeling a bit under-par. While I was up North, I also took the opportunity for a bit of nostalgic book-shopping. I popped into the lovely Keel Row Bookshop in North Shields, which I used to visit over 10 years ago now to get books for college. I particularly liked The Keel Row because upstairs there was a whole room full of Penguin Classics all for £1 each and I then snaffled lovely copies of Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, The L-Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks, and Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence.

I was delighted to discover that although the shop had been tidied up and was a bit more ship-shape with new signage, the precious room with it’s shelves of classics was still there and they were still at their modest £1 price.

So of course, I couldn’t resist and picked up the following books for my library:

  • Cakes and Ale, by W. Somerset Maugham – I keep wanting to read Somerset Maugham books after reading great reviews at My Porch blog
  • The Blessing, by Nancy Mitford – I keep meaning to read a Mitford book, and my Oma (grandma) was most impressed with this choice!
  • The Loved Ones, by Evelyn Waugh – I really enjoyed Brideshead Revisited and Savidge Reads has written a glowing review of this particular novel
  • The Waves by Virginia Woolf I have a difficult relationship with Woolf as she’s tough-going but I also find her books rewarding so I thought I could stash this one for later

I also had a lovely time with Oma who always makes me laugh with her wisdom and piquant humour. On politics – “I always supported the Conservatives until Margaret Thatcher. She was a cow.” Or on sexual preferences – “I don’t care what you do with your front-sides or your back-sides…”. I do feel very lucky to have family members who make me smile.

What’s your favourite second-hand bookshop? Have you got any funny family wisdom you can share?

14 responses to “A Nostalgic Bookshop Visit

  1. That looks like a fantastic bookshop – what wonderful treasures I’m sure there are. I do love those old Penguin editions – so stylish.

    • novelinsights

      I only wish I could have had longer browsing! Will have to go on another trip next time I’m there…

  2. Ohh, I would be in heaven in that book shop! All those lovely old Penguins for a quid! I think I would need to set up camp in the shop for a few hours.

    You got The L Shaped Room too! That’s so funny ‘cos after I posted my comment yesterday about reading it as a teen I got an overwhelming need to order it from Amazon and read it again – so I did!

  3. Once I am back book buying we are so heading there! Wonderful copy of The Loved One and am so pleased you have bought it, in fact with Somerset Maugham (who I am intending to read a book of very soon) and Nancy Mitford you have done a rather marvellous £4 spree there. Am not commenting on the Woolf me and Ginny are still a little edgy with one another lol.

    • novelinsights

      It would be great to have a hunt there together – I’m sure we would struggle to keep ourselves from buying up the whole shop! I’m so chuffed that you did that review of The Loved One as I probably wouldn’t have thought to get it otherwise. Can’t wait to read it now!

  4. I’m in love with that bookshop already! Classics for a pound!!

    Not far from where I live are two secondhand bookshops next door to each other. I go there frequently. One is an absolute mess, roughly organised by genre and alphabet but with books higgledy-piggledy in boxes on the floor, in piles, sliding onto the floor – lots of dust too. I love the treasure-hunting but not the dust and I don’t like to see books getting needlessly damaged! The guy who owns it gives me big discounts and free books, which is great!

    Next door is a clean, immaculate shop, very well organised, lovely man there too. I don’t get discounts but I can find some good lit and Canadian fiction is great condition, and halfprice is still better than full!

    • novelinsights

      I know, it’s almost a bit ridiculous!

      I agree with you, I like treasure hunting but there’s got to be a bit of order – sounds like you’re benefitting from the bargains though. How good to have those bookshops right next to each other!

  5. Great selection and what a wonderful bookshop. Your grandmother’s quotes are classic!

    • novelinsights

      Thanks Mae 🙂 It is lovely, only wish it was a bit more local. I just couldn’t resist noting down her comments!

  6. Oma sounds like a treasure, as does the Keel Row Bookshop. I love stores like that. Wish we had more of them here in California.

    • novelinsights

      Hey! She is a bit fab as is the shop. Oh well at least in California you get the sunshine!!

  7. Pingback: Some inherited books & an unseasonal ‘secret Santa’ « Novel Insights

  8. My grandmother’s given name was Oma. I’ve never heard of another person with that name. Hope you made it through “The Waves.” So beautiful. One of my all-time favorites.

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